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Woodcliff Lake, NJ, United States

Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: DISCOVERY RESEARCH K-12 | Award Amount: 449.97K | Year: 2013

Inquiry Primed: An Intervention to Mitigate the Effects of Stereotype Threat is an Exploratory Project in the Teacher Strand of DRK-12 that investigates stereotype threat at the classroom level and in the context of inquiry-based instruction, in order to develop strategies and a related professional development course, using the principles of Universal Design for Learning, to help teachers learn how to mitigate stereotype threat.

The project includes three major activities:

1) An experimental study testing the hypothesis that the influences of stereotype threat on individual students affects instructional processes for the class as a whole: Research participants include three teachers from 3 different school districts in Massachusetts, each with four 8th grade science classes, for a total sample of 12 science classes and approximately 300 students. The two treatment conditions (stereotype threat induced vs. not induced) are applied blindly to three classroom groups over a series of six lessons. The project uses existing surveys for gathering data, including Communicative Interactions, RTOP subscales, subscales of the Constructivist Learning Environment Survey (CLES), and a brief student questionnaire measuring domain salience (e.g., self ranking of degree of participation in class). The analysis is conducted using Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression, with predictions of classroom instructional processes based on treatment condition, percentage of students in stereotyped group, and domain salience.

2) Collaboration with teachers as co-researchers to translate research findings into classroom practices and a prototype online professional development course: Three middle school teachers who participated in Study 1 serve as co-researchers, using the Universal Design for Learning model. The product is a prototype, online professional development modules that include self-paced presentations, small group facilitated discussions, asynchronous discussions, and live webcasts with experts, all focused on how teachers can implement strategies to mitigate stereotype threat in their practice. The design elements will be assessed in terms of clarity, accessibility, use, value, and promise.

3) Pilot testing of three professional development modules: The professional development component (via communities of practice) supports classroom teachers as they incorporate these strategies into their daily activities. The three teachers involved in the original study and design of modules participate in a six-week pilot study of the online professional development course, anticipated to consist of three modules, with teachers participating 3-4 hours per week. The course is evaluated through observations of professional development interactions (synchronous and asynchronous), interviews, implementation strategies, Moodle Electronic Usage Logs, online discussions, and a questionnaire. Descriptive statistics and regression analysis are used to seek predictors of use and contributions by teacher characteristics.


The project contributes critical knowledge about stereotype threat, a construct shown to contribute to disparities in achievement in STEM education. The outcomes of the project will include research findings that are to be submitted to science education research journals for publication; a prototype, online teacher professional development course on mitigating stereotype threat in STEM education classrooms; and dissemination of the course to teachers who are part of the CAST and Minority Student Achievement Networks.


Grant
Agency: NSF | Branch: Standard Grant | Program: | Phase: RES IN DISABILITIES ED | Award Amount: 367.71K | Year: 2013

The purpose of this empirical study is to explore the prevalence and impact of stigmatization and stereotype threat on mathematics performance among public high school students (grades 9-12) with specific learning disabilities. Using a combination of self-report measures and experimental study, the following questions will be addressed: 1) To what degree are high school students with specific learning disabilities conscious of stigma related to their learning disability in the context of mathematics education?, 2) Is greater stigma consciousness associated with poorer performance in mathematics among high school students with specific learning disabilities?, and 3) Do high school students with specific learning disabilities experience stereotype threat that interferes with performance in mathematics? The severity of learning disability will be controlled in all analyses, and tests of moderation will be employed to explore potentially compounding effects of having a math specific learning disability, being a girl or minority student, or coming from a school where stigma levels around learning disability are high.

The proposed work contributes to Intellectual Merit through advancing potentially transformative knowledge and understanding about the experiences of students with learning disabilities in the context of high school mathematics. The research has the potential to inform and open new avenues of research in the area of stigmatization and stereotype threat for people with disabilities.

In regards to Broader Impacts, the findings from this project will significantly inform understanding of the achievement gaps in math of underrepresented groups, and specifically students with learning disabilities, including women and minorities within this population. Understanding the cognitive and affective experiences of individuals with learning disabilities may facilitate the future development of interventions to remedy the current negative outcomes of students with learning disabilities in mathematics.


Patent
CAST Inc | Date: 2013-10-31

A matrix band, including a straight, contoured or sectional matrix band for use in dentistry is described. The matrix band includes a metal or metal alloy strip constructed from titanium, titanium alloy or stainless steel plated with titanium or titanium alloy, which initiates coagulation of the blood, while the polymer coating eliminates capillary action between a tooth and the matrix band while the tooth is being filled.


Patent
CAST Inc | Date: 2013-10-30

A matrix band for use in dentistry has a silicone-based, polymer coating applied to a stainless steel or a polyester surface, which reduces or eliminates capillary action between a tooth and the matrix band. The matrix band may include at least one aperture to assist with removal of the matrix band from the tooth.


Patent
CAST Inc | Date: 2014-01-21

A system and method for forming a wall is disclosed. In some embodiments, the wall comprises blocks having internal couplers configured for use with rods which can be inserted through and which are configured to securely lock blocks together. In some embodiments, the rods which are inserted into internal couplers may be threaded or have another locking features such that the blocks in a wall can be securely fastened together.

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